#9) Sam Waardenburg, 6'8, Power Forward, 17.4 years old, New Zealand
13.4 PTS, 6.4 REB, 1.4 AST, 7-11 3P%, 12-17 FT%, 60.0 FG%
The 17-year-old skilled four man from New Zealand shined in five games at Adidas Nations and went out with a bang by way of a 30-point, 10-rebound effort in Asia Pacific's camp finale, improving his team to a 3-2 record. Waardenburg finished the camp averaging 23.3 points, 11.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists per 40 minutes, while shooting 58.6% from two and 63.6% from three (7-for-11), which led the entire camp. The sharp-shooting Kiwi broke out in the summer of 2015 when he finished eighth in PER at the FIBA U16 Oceana Tournament and has continued to gain steam since.
From a physical standpoint, Waardenburg has solid tools for an inside-outside four man, especially at the collegiate level. He's around 6' 8 in shoes with average length, wide shoulders and proportionate upper and lower body that should fill out really nicely. Although not a freaky leaper, he's very fluid for his size and is able to use that agility, along with his impressive skill set, regularly in the half court. At this stage Waardenburg's most intriguing skill is his stretch-ability as he displays excellent shooting mechanics and soft touch out to the college three-point line. He's on balance, has a clean wrist action, gets good arc and rotation, and has shot 11-for-21 from three in games we have logged in our database. He's not a high volume, dynamic shooter at this point of his career but he shows nice potential as pick and pop threat. The Henderson, New Zealand native is much more than just a stretch four however. He's very comfortable attacking a closeout in space and playmaking while on the move. He sees the floor well and plays an unselfish brand of basketball, giving him another weapon to add to his already smooth stroke.
Waardenburg can score inside the arc as well. He shows impressive footwork with inside pivots to get to his face up jumper, can mix in up and unders playing out of the post, and shows potential on his right handed jump hook. Despite the flashes, Waardenburg could still use some polish versus high level defenders as he's not overly physical and is quite right hand dominant at this stage of his development. He struggles with ball pressure on the perimeter and isn't always overly confident or assertive.
Waardenburg can have more of an impact on the defensive end as well. He's a capable defensive rebounder who understands how to box out and has decent instincts, but he's not an explosive athlete and can get tougher in a crowd. Waardenburg doesn't provide much rim protection and can also improve his ability to step out and check athletes on the perimeter. Overall his defensive impact is a bit limited at this stage, although he figures to fill out nicely and has the mobility to improve in this area.
All in all Waardenburg had some impressive moments, especially during his 30-point, 10-rebound outburst. He can certainly get tougher on both ends and improve his ability to play against high level athletes, but he has a lot of value at the collegiate level as a 6-8 big who can move and score both inside and out.